Tupac Shakur’s former video director and now biographer, Allen Hughes, has recently revealed the reason behind his decision to create a docuseries about the iconic rapper, despite having been previously assaulted by him. The five-part docuseries called “Dear Mama,” which is currently available on Hulu in the US and will be released on the Disney+ platform in the UK on October 1st, sheds light on Shakur’s life and legacy.
According to Hughes, the altercation between him and Shakur, which happened three years prior to the rapper’s death, was a result of a misunderstanding that occurred during the filming of Hughes’s movie “Menace II Society.” Shakur had been cast in the film, but the two clashed over the backstory of his character, leading Shakur to eventually walk off the production. A few months later, Hughes was assaulted by Shakur’s entourage, and Shakur was convicted of assault and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
In an interview with The Guardian, Hughes explained, “Before I would’ve said [it was] just Tupac, but now I’d say both sides … But with my own brother, I have that problem!” This suggests that the clash between the two was more of a clash of egos rather than a personal grudge. Hughes added, “We saw a lot of the same things in the same way … It just was p*** and vinegar at the time. We were all 20 years old, y’know?”
Despite the previous altercation, Hughes and Shakur had developed a close friendship in the early 1990s. Hughes even co-directed three of Shakur’s music videos, including “Trapped,” “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” and “If My Homie Calls.” The docuseries “Dear Mama” focuses on Shakur’s relationship with his mother, activist and former Black Panther, Afeni Shakur. Hughes mentioned that he wanted to find answers to the mysteries and question marks he had about Tupac, and he believed he could discover more about the rapper through his mother.
This docuseries adds to the previous explorations of Tupac Shakur’s life on film, such as Nick Broomfield’s 2017 documentary “Biggie & Tupac” and the 2003 film “Tupac: Resurrection.” However, Hughes’s series provides a unique perspective by delving into the relationship between Shakur and his mother.
Despite their previous clash, Hughes’s decision to create a docuseries about Tupac Shakur shows his admiration and respect for the late rapper. It also highlights the complexity of their relationship, as they saw eye to eye on many things but clashed due to their strong personalities. With “Dear Mama,” Hughes aims to offer a deeper understanding of Tupac Shakur’s life and his significant bond with his mother, allowing viewers to gain a more comprehensive picture of the multifaceted artist who tragically passed away in 1996.